Mindfulness for Small Business

advice | personal
mindfulness, meditation, peace, calm

When it comes to being a small business owner, taking care of your mental health is as important as any other aspect of your business. Mindfulness for small business is becoming more and more accepted. And there are a bunch of ways you can work towards it!

Do you know that bit in Eat Pray Love where Elizabeth Gilbert is trying to learn how to meditate in the Ashram in India? She sits, expecting to clear her mind and meditate along with the rest of the people there. But the moment she tries, it’s like every thought she’s ever had starts to crowd into her brain.

“I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the ‘monkey mind’ — the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl.”

Yeah… that’s me.

mindfulness, meditation, peace, calm

I remember, years ago, my friend complained one day he’d been unable to sleep because he’d been thinking about how to think. At first, I thought, “Well, that’s crazy!” But then it dawned on me. This is precisely what I do. Some people can climb into bed, pull up the duvet, close their eyes and, almost immediately, fall asleep. My husband is one of them.

I have envied these people for years because, well, this doesn’t happen to me. In my world, the lights go off and then it’s like every possible thought in the world is invading my head. I start to think about what I haven’t managed to get done that day and what I still need to do. And I worry about why I haven’t had a response to my email, or what should I do about a particular problem. It’s why I rarely get to sleep before the early hours of the morning, regardless of what time I have to be up the next day. It’s why my dreams are always so vivid and why I suffer from a restless sleep.

I’m not gonna lie… it’s exhausting.

Of course, I’ve managed in this vein for the last 35 years – “managed” being a loose term, of course. I’ve tried a variety of methods to “clear my mind” before going to sleep: keeping a notebook next to my bed to write down all those mental lists; warm drinks; hot baths; lavender on my pillow. You name it; I’ve tried it.

mindfulness, meditation, peace, calm

And then I realised something. That the reason I had been so unhappy for the previous six months had a lot to do with the crowded space that was my mind. I realised I needed to learn how to clear it.

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”

Lucky for me that mindfulness for small business and meditation seem to be hot topics right now. We live in a stressful society, brought on by the technology that gives us information whenever and wherever we are. Email, Google, social media. It all has this effect of bombarding us with information. All. The. Time. But when you run a small business, a busy mind is hard to tear yourself away from. Between client work, marketing, admin, accounts and everything else that comes with working for yourself, taking the time to sit back and switch off feels like a constant battle. I hear you. I am right there beside you and holding that same flag, I promise!

mindfulness, meditation, peace, calm

mindfulness, meditation, peace, calm

That’s why I’ve dipped into the world of meditation. I’m learning about how to clear my headspace, and about the here and now. And here are three things I’ve learned so far.


There are a couple of great apps which teach you how to meditate (believe me, I’ve pondered on the irony of this). The two I have tried so far and find both easy to use and pretty darn helpful are Calm and Headspace. They both have free sessions, to begin with, and then you can subscribe for more sessions later on. Having only just started with these, I can already see the benefit. And you don’t need any previous experience of meditation to begin with them. They take you in the right direction from the very beginning and are excellent tools when it comes to mindfulness for small business.

Here and Now

Taking time in your daily routine to relish in the here and now is so liberating. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing. Take a few moments to stop and close your eyes. Concentrate first on your breathing, then on the sensations you experience, like the rise and fall of your chest with each breath. Notice the feel of the wind or sun on your face if you’re outside and the sounds you may be hearing around you. And, while you’re in that moment, taking the time to feel – ask yourself, how are you feeling? Realise your emotions at that point and accept them, just as they are.

New Habits

Switching out old habits for new is saving my sanity. I’m starting to get used to meditating once a day – it’s hard, I don’t always manage it, but I do miss it if I don’t! I’ve also started reading for pleasure again. It’s a big step for me. I used to read all the time when I was younger, but I allowed life to get in the way until I realised, one day, that I hadn’t read a book for over a year. But, in the last three weeks, I’ve read two books. Making the time to sit and do that, instead of surfing the internet, playing games on my phone or watching TV, has given me a real sense of calm and rest.

cat chilling on the bed

It’s a slow journey. I’ve got a long way to go yet. But I have noticed the last few days that my sleep has been more restful. I’ve had more energy throughout the day, and I’ve even found myself humming while washing the dishes! So, there’s something to be said for mindfulness for small business, and if you’ve been feeling stressed, frazzled, fried, I recommend taking some time out of your day to do a little meditation. You’ll feel so much better for it, I promise!  

I’d love to know your experiences of meditation. What techniques work for you? How has it changed your life?